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June 29, 1999

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia volleyball teamis expected to finish second in the 1999 Atlantic Coast Conferencevolleyball season, according to a pre-season poll voted upon by all nine ofthe ACC head volleyball coaches.

Clemson was selected as the ACC pre-season favorite. The Tigersgathered 77 of the possible 81 votes in the poll. Clemson returns all sixstarters, including 1998 ACC Rookie-of-the-Year Jodi Steffes, from lastseason’s fourth place team that finished 22-11 overall, 10-6 in theconference. Clemson won the 1997 ACC Championship title.

Virginia, which was picked seventh in last year’s poll with 23points, was tabbed second after gathering 69 points in this year’s poll.The second place prediction can be attributed to four starters returningfrom last season’s team which finished 26-8 overall, 12-4 in the ACC.UVa’s 12-4 mark in the conference was good for second place in the ACC.Virginia’s 26 victories ranks as the second highest win total ever in asingle season at Virginia and was the most wins by the volleyball team atUVa in a season during the 1990’s. The Cavaliers 12 ACC victories set anew school-record for the most conference wins in a season, shattering theprevious record of seven wins set by the 1997 squad.

Last season, Virginia won both the Pepperdine and Jefferson CupTournaments and advanced to the ACC Tournament semi-finals, where UVaeventually lost to tournament champion Florida State. After completingsuch a successful season, Virginia earned its first ever bid to compete inthe NCAA Volleyball Championships. In the schools first-ever NCAAappearance, UVa put up a tough fight before falling 3-1 in the first roundto UCLA. All-ACC honors were earned by Claire Folga, Jessica Parsons, andAmanda Wells. Folga and Parsons were both selected to the AmericanVolleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-District team. Mary FrancesScott joined Parsons and head coach Melissa Aldrich Shelton on the VaSIDAll-State Volleyball team. Parsons was named the state’s Player of theYear and Shelton was tabbed the state’s Coach of the Year. Parsons andScott will look to guide Virginia to another outstanding season in ’99.

Georgia Tech (59) and Florida State (52) were chosen fourth andfifth, respectively. The Yellow Jackets return five starters from lastyear’s 22-13 squad, while the Seminoles look to repeat as ACC TournamentChampions again in 1999. North Carolina collected 46 points, good forfifth place in the poll. The Tar Heels finished first in the ACC regularseason last year with a record of 29-8 overall, 13-3 in the conference.

Wake Forest was tabbed sixth with 38 points and Duke was pickedseventh after gathering 28 points. Maryland (23 points) edged out N.C.State (13 points) for the eighth spot in the poll. The Wolf pack will lookto improve on a 0-16 ACC record from last season.

1999 Pre-Season ACC Volleyball Poll

Rank  School           Points  1998  Record/Finish  1.  Clemson            77    22-11, 10-6 ACC/T4th  2.  VIRGINIA           69     26-8, 12-4 ACC/2nd  3.  Georgia Tech       59    22-13, 10-6 ACC/T4th  4.  Florida State      52    25-11, 11-5 ACC/3rd  5.  North Carolina     46     29-8, 13-3 ACC/1st  6.  Wake Forest        38    21-12,  7-9 ACC/6th  7.  Duke               28     9-20, 4-12 ACC/8th  8.  Maryland           23    13-16, 5-11 ACC/7th  9.  N.C. State         13    11-20, 0-16 ACC/9th
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